Strong, loving ruler
Sage counselor of the soul
Heart wise, peacekeeper
Have you ever held a passionate conviction? You know the type – a Knight of Wands, I am furiously, powerfully convinced that my position on this topic is correct kind of belief? A conviction that you hold so firmly and unshakably that it divides people into “us” (those who share your belief) and “them” (those who hold an opposite opinion. The most visible example of this kind of belief is the pro- and anti-abortion camps. The anti-abortion activists demonize reproductive health care providers sometimes even to the extreme of advocating the assassination of doctors who provide abortions in order to save the “unborn”
I still have a few hot button issues which I will defend vehemently and passionately with no attempt at objectivity, open-mindedness or thoughtfulness. When defending these beliefs I would charge forth like a Knight of Wands, beating all foes into submission. There was no attempt at reasoned debate or peaceful negotiations. I was confident in my beliefs and held the courage of my convictions. I was in the right and was morally obligated to defeat those who disagreed. Thank goodness that I’m reaching a point in my life where this passionate conviction is giving way (slowly, oh so slowly) to tempered thoughtfulness.
I am reaching a place where I am more open to hearing the other side’s arguments. I don’t feel such a strong need to beat down foes as much as open a dialogue with people who hold differing opinions. I a able to hear their viewpoints with objectivity and genuinely hear what is being said rather than listening and merely waiting for my turn to speak. It has helped me understand that intelligent, passionate people who hold different perspectives from my own are not delusional and wrong. They simply have different priorities and have reached different conclusions after examining the information presented. I’m moving away from my Knightly passion towards a more Kingly consideration and thoughtfulness.
There is something very comforting in having a Knight of Wands approach to things. There is little room or doubt or second-guessing. Instead we act from a place of moral certainty and superiority. We are wrapped in a cloak of self-righteousness and confidence. Of course I’m right and as a result I must sally forth and correct the mistaken viewpoints held by others. It is my duty to carry the message of rightness to them! This viewpoint leaves very little room for debate or discussion. We don’t really care why they believe what they do, we merely want to correct their wrong-headed beliefs.
Thanks goodness most of us move passed this phase. We eventually learn that we are not always right. Even when we do believe we are right, we often lose the need to proselytize and convert others to our viewpoint. We learn and embrace the fact that we learn more by being open and listening to the views and reasoning of others who hold different perceptions and opinions. This often allows us to expand our horizons and our world view. Respectful debate and open-minded discussions can lead to less parochial, entrenched mindset. Perhaps if we can moved beyond this attitude in our own lives we can eventually learn to expand it to encompass national matters too. I can always hope.
Today I drew an ogam to see what I needed to consider in my daily reading. I drew Saille/Willow. In her book Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, Erynn Rowan Laurie wrote “I have come to see this fid as an indication that the ancestors are sending messages in some way. It might be through the voice of falling water or through song and music.” So I decided to see what insight or advice my ancestors might have for me today. I drew the King & Queen of Swords reversed and The Tower reversed.
At first I just didn’t get this message. I was trying to see how the reversed King and Queen of Swords might represent aspects of myself. The Tower reversed was another puzzler. It puzzled me. Then I visited my former employer’s website and realized that some of the people I consider responsible for my termination, those who betrayed me, are still employed and doing quite well at the agency. I suppose I was hoping they’d be gone and I’d learned that they had flamed out in an explosive display of incompetence and ineptitude. I was greatly disappointed.
Then I started to reconsider my cards in light of this knowledge. It struck me that the King of Swords is FU, the former executive director who terminated me. The Queen of Swords is AC, my former immediate supervisor who I am sure undermined and denigrated me (but subtly, oh so subtly – she has mastered the art of killing with kind words). The Tower is the termination itself – that seminal, traumatic moment that is still impacting me no matter how much I claim to have healed.
The fact that all these cards are reversed tells me that my ancestors are telling me it’s time to really put it behind me. It’s in the past. Nothing I can do or say will change any of it. If I let them beat me and keep me down, then they’ve won. If it’s one thing I know, it’s that I come from a long line of fighters. We fought for survival. We fought to endure the curve balls life threw our way. We fought to prove our detractors wrong. I may have not been able to fight to keep the job but that doesn’t mean I need to let them win in my own mind.
Obviously I still have some issues to work out regarding that situation. I think it’s complicated by the fact that I haven’t been able to return to work. My new career is caring for the in-laws and somehow that’s not enough to wash away the sense of failure. I will heal and I will triumph again. I just need to allow myself to feel these things but not get stuck in the emotions. All that will do is make me angry and sad – neither of which is helpful in the long run.
Yesterday I asked myself this question and drew the King of Vessels (Heron) from the Wildwood Tarot. Today I asked “What else can I do?” and drew the 8 of Stones. Here are my thoughts:
As soon as I saw this card I got the sense that I need to let the heron’s bill pierce my heart. This card seems especially appropriate because I’ve felt the heron’s energy in my life lately. We’ve been visited by one several times over the last few months. He tends to visit when the weather is grey and rainy; a ghost barely visible in the misty day.
I looked up Heron in Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak and learned that it represents self-reliance and self-determination. They also straddle boundaries to some degree – connecting with the earth and water at the same time. Seeing this card appear in my reading made me think that I needed to embrace the Heron’s energy more in myself.
I don’t get the sense that my focus should be on manifesting this energy in the world or for others. It’s about channeling it into myself. Allowing my to embrace the Heron’s energies. I have been self-reliant and self-determined for many years. In fact I can get downright prickly about it. Perhaps the Heron is reminding me to embrace these qualities in myself and suggesting I find ways to straddle some boundaries of my own. I’m not sure how just yet but it’s pointing me in the right direction.
This is about planning to me. I need to take stock, assess my skills, interests and desires and then create a plan that will allow me to pursue them. Now is not necessarily the time to take action, it’s the time to take stock.
I’ve already been doing that in small ways – weeding out clothes, books, music, even Tarot decks that I don’t need anymore. It’s time to release some things into the world. At the same time I need to bring in some new things. I definitely need a new wardrobe (I haven’t bought anything new in some time). Before I start on a buying binge I want to come up with a strategy so that I’ll know what I really need rather than falling prey to a pretty color. Too often I just feel the urge to buy something and end up with items I’ll wear only once. I don’t want to waste that kind of money anymore (I can’t waste that kind of money anymore).
I want to take stock of what I’m truly interested in manifesting in my life – what do I want to do with myself? It’s been some time since I’ve even considered it and my previous path no longer holds any interest. I don’t need to rush into anything but I do need to take time and make plans, prioritize and strategize before manifesting.
It was on this day in 1986 that my brother Tom was killed. He was 15 years old at the time and it was a devastating loss for my family. We all still miss him every day. So I wanted to take a moment and consider how I can continue to honor his memory.
This is a story about Tom published in New York Magazine in October 1982
And this was written by the same author after Tom was killed
The King of Stones in this deck is a wolf. My brother Tom would have loved that. He was an animal lover and always seemed to have a menagerie of pets. I have always had a fondness for wolves too. They are such beautiful, wild, untamed creatures. They operate in a pack and care for each other. Despite the fact that they have been hunted almost to extinction by humans they manage to hang on. If it’s now popular to be a woman who runs with the wolves, my brother was a boy who ran with the wolves.
Tom was unique, quirky and in many ways quite fearless. The older he got the more independent he became. He was never one to go with the crowd. I remember a time when Tom told his closet friend that he wouldn’t hang out with him anymore if he kept doing drugs. Tom didn’t care if his friend got mad, Tom also had a wicked sense of humor. He once set up a dummy figure on our sofa so that it looked like an uncle who had recently died. He then waiting until one of us entered the living room and fell into his trap. Of course it was me and I can still hear his chuckle at my shriek.
Although Tom was only 16 when he was killed and the pain was incredible, I would never trade those 16 years for anything. Tom wasn’t perfect. He had a fierce temper and, like most teenage boys, rather challenged hygiene but he was good-hearted, caring, and funny. He loved hockey and was a die-hard NY Rangers fan. he loved people but I think he loved animals more. He was a wonderful and wacky storyteller who could make up laugh without even trying.
I think to honor his memory, the King of Stones is telling me to maintain a connection to the wild – both in the world and in myself. I need to go out into the woods and howl at the moon – whether literally or figuratively. I need to honor my pack and keep those connections alive. And I need to always keep Tom in my heart. He was part of our pack and we still mourn his loss.
I love this answer! Things change, there are cycles to life and I’ll eventually be able to connect with my inner King of Wands – master of my own creativity and energy. Sometimes I draw very smart ass responses from the Tarot and others I get a kind kiss.
The Wheel of Fortune reminds me that life is full of changes and cycles. I’m often very clear about my resistance to change but in this instance I’ll make an exception. I think I’ve been viewing the bottom of this wheel for several years now. It would be nice to finally get a view from the top again.
The King of Wands seems a victorious and confident figure; one who attracts other with his charm and energy. He can also be a bit pompous and full of himself but is willing to laugh at these foibles. I think these are traits I possess too and this card suggests that as the cycle represented by the Wheel of Fortune changes perhaps I’ll find myself reconnecting to this energy once again.
I see the King of Wands as a externally focused figure. His power is in his ability to interact with the world around him; to charm, persuade and lead those around him. I’ve been so inwardly focused over the last few years, honing my skills as a nurturer and caregiver. I think the King of Wands may be reminding me that I will eventually re-enter his realm so keeping those skills alive will prove beneficial.